Ned Price, a representative of the US State Department, stated that the possibility of recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism is now being seriously considered.
This will send a message to the entire world, in addition to dealing with Russia, a severe economic blow. But is such a solution possible right now?
Prospects of recognizing Russia as a terrorists
The American Washington Post reported on the request to name Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to reports, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, personally requested this.
This cannot be predicted with any degree of confidence. Although they are considering it, the White House and State Department officials have yet to assert that the USA believes Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism. The prospect of classifying Russia as a state supporter of terrorism will be taken into consideration by the US State Department.
This choice is possible because the sanctions package the USA has imposed on the Russian Federation is closely tied to the penalties already in place against the nations to which this status has been granted.
Currently, these countries are on the list of states supporting terrorism: Iran, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea.
The status was introduced for several reasons. For example, the DPRK has frequently been added to the relevant list due to the threat posed by nuclear weapons. Generally speaking, each of these countries has persistently supported international terrorism.
This represents a significant advancement for the United States because, even during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union publicly funded groups that were viewed as unacceptable by the Americans, they did not classify the Soviet Union as a supporter of terrorism.
There are already sufficient reports of the Russian invaders’ terroristic deeds in Ukraine. The US needs to muster the political resolve to add the Russian Federation to the pertinent list.
Recognition is worse than sanctions
Being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism will undoubtedly result in tighter sanctions on Russia.
It is difficult to predict the specifics, but the sanctions packages that the US is still putting up would undoubtedly go more quickly.
Most likely, these will be restrictions on Russia’s military sector and the asset freezing of specific state-owned businesses and government figures.
Sanctions imposed on Russia
Isolation from Western nations results from the USA designating the state as a sponsor of terrorism. It’s much harsher than a set of sanctions. The present sanctions regime makes it clear that Russia is already largely cut off from the West.
If the Russian Federation is identified as a supporter of terrorism, the US sanctions regime will need to be strengthened, but that won’t be the only issue. They were especially given that the United States would continue to isolate Russia whatever.
This will make it possible to impose more severe sanctions. The so-called diplomatic immunity is lifted, allowing those harmed by this dictatorship to sue this nation in US courts.
Will such a decision belong to the West?
Even while only the USA can designate Russia as a terrorist sponsor, this will nonetheless have an unintended impact on relations with other nations.
First, this might speed up the imposition of more sanctions against Russia that organizations like the EU are currently considering.
Second, only some people in the West will want to do business with Russia in the future. If they continue to cooperate with the Russian Federation, they will find themselves under the “crosshairs” of the United States. They may lose the American market, which is more interesting than the Russian one.
This will impact the entire West. Western countries will comprehend that if they engage in specific commercial and economic operations with Russia, there is a good chance that the United States will impose particular economic sanctions.
It’s still determining whether it will impact the world outside the West, as in China or India. On the other hand, it might accelerate global decentralization when we see that Western nations will have few options and Asian countries will continue to conduct business with the Russian Federation as usual.
In other words, the issue of designating the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism is significantly more in terms of sending a message to the entire world that Russia is an exiled nation with which no one should do business than in terms of sanctions, which many countries are prepared to ratchet up even without this decision.
Why the US is hesitating about the decision?
The representative of the White House, Karin-Jean-Pierre, said that the declaration of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States could weaken support for Ukraine and harm humanitarian efforts.
“Declaring (Russia a sponsor of terrorism) could have undesirable consequences for Ukraine and the world. For example, according to humanitarian experts and organizations we spoke with, it could seriously affect the delivery of aid to certain regions of Ukraine,” said a representative of the White House.
She added that such a move by Washington could harm humanitarian efforts to facilitate food exports and make it more challenging to implement the “grain agreement.”
“It will also undermine the unprecedented multilateral arrangements that are extremely effective in bringing Putin to justice, as well as undermine our ability to support Ukraine at the negotiating table,” Karin-Jean-Pierre said.
The representative of the White House recalled the efforts of the United States regarding restrictions for the invading country. These include sanctions, export controls, and further measures to isolate Russia from the global economy.
Why is the US not ready to recognize Russia as a terrorist regime?
American caution is quite clear. Russia is a nuclear power, and we are forced to maintain some contacts with it, says retired US Navy Captain First Class Harry Tabach, a military observer. Today, this issue is pragmatic because even in the event of the collapse of the Russian Federation, we will also have to dialogue with it.
“Therefore, if you declare Russia in the USA a sponsor of terrorism, which it is… Russia has always sponsored terrorism. This is not a new thing; they just started the Third World War against the whole world. Today, Ukraine is fighting for the whole world,” – said the observer in a comment to media.
According to Tabakh, the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the USA and Russia will not help Ukraine. At the same time, even without the status of a state sponsor of terrorism, Russia was left without many benefits from Western countries.
“When you declare a country a sponsor of terrorism, you strip their diplomats of diplomatic immunity. Again, in diplomatic terms, that’s a break in diplomatic relations. Nobody will send their diplomats to a country if it’s considered a terrorist country.
I think everything is used today in this sense, as if they declared Russia a country that sponsors terrorism, in addition to the fact that we did not break diplomatic relations,” Tabakh summarized.
The US is afraid of consequences of recognizing Russia as a terrorist regime
In addition, the recognition of Russia as a terrorist regime may negatively affect relations with US allies from Europe.
“One of the requirements of the law after declaring a state a sponsor of terrorism is sanctions against any state that maintains economic ties with it. The United States practically does not support such relations.
But Joe Biden’s administration would have to formally impose sanctions on Germany, France, and other European states that are in the process of getting rid of energy dependence. This stops Biden.”
After all, US President is left with the fear of a “bear with a nuclear club” from the time of the USSR. The US president is afraid to cross some red line that means a severe conflict with Russia.
“Biden does not want to burn all bridges with Russia and wants to leave the possibility to negotiate with it on some common issues. The US recognition of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism will mean a complete freezing of relations between the two countries up to the breaking of diplomatic relations.
From the complete cessation of official communication to the fact that countries will approach the danger of a hot war,” the expert said in a comment to the mass media.
Despite all of America’s arguments against recognizing Russia as a terrorist country, Ukrainians are sorry to hear this. After all, a few months ago, Congress voted on a document recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
This would be one of the toughest sanctions against the Russian Federation, but Biden does not want to complicate relations.
Who has already recognized Russia as a terrorist state?
- Lithuania. On May 10, 2022, the Seimas of Lithuania unanimously recognized the Russian invasion of Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people. They called for creating an international tribunal to investigate the Kremlin’s war crimes.
- Ukraine. On May 22, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada recognized Russia as a terrorist state and its regime as Nazi and totalitarian.
- Latvia. On August 2, the Diet of Latvia declared the Russian Federation a country that supports terrorism.
- PACE On October 13, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to recognize the Russian government as a terrorist regime. The voted resolution also provides for the creation of a tribunal.
- Estonia. On October 18, the country’s parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the Russian Federation as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
- Poland. On October 26, the country’s Senate adopted a resolution recognizing the Russian government as a terrorist regime.
- Czech Republic On November 13, the Czech Parliament recognized the Russian regime as a terrorist.
- PA NATO. On November 21, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly recognized Russia as a terrorist state and called for creating of a special international tribunal to punish Russian war criminals.
- European Parliament. On November 23, the European Parliament recognized Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
- The Netherlands. On November 24, the House of Representatives recognized the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism.